I took Vince to the pediatrician for his annual check-up earlier this week. It was the first well-check appointment where I thought that maybe I should step out of the room while they examined him – that maybe he would have questions for the doctor that he wouldn’t want to ask in front of me. Vince laughed at me when I asked if he wanted me out of the room, he said there was nothing that he would ask the doctor that he felt he couldn’t ask me first. He got a meningitis vaccine which means (rounding-up person that I am), of course, that he’s almost leaving home for college. Jeremy sometimes says that Vince and I bicker like an old married couple (sometimes we do and it’s almost always my fault), but he’s really the best son I could have asked for – kind, outgoing and happy-go-lucky.
There was a student doctor doing a clinical assignment in the office, so it was his job to do Vince’s assessment. I’m learning the same assessment techniques at school – so we had a lot of fun doing all the extra assessments on a willing Vincent. Usually, as a med student, you don’t want to ask a patient to sit still for a million assessment tests just for your own practice, but Vince was game and was in no hurry to get back to school and I kept asking – what about bicep reflex? ear exam? cranial nerves? auscultate the bowel sounds? pitting edema? heart murmurs? palpate the liver? I kept asking Vince, OK pull up your pants, pull down your socks, pull up your sleeves, OK, now turn around. The student doctor was excited and pleased. Everything was normal, but I guess you only learn abnormal from doing a million normal ones. Fun.
Also, one always feels compelled to lie when they ask how much screen time? How many fruits and vegetables? Enough exercise? Not so much junk food? They told me the guidelines put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics and I just said – that’s unattainable. Simply unattainable. Has any one in this whole country been successful in getting their teenage kids to eat more greens or use their screens less? I can hardly make myself eat more greens and use my phone/computer/internet/Candy Crush less.